Xylitol For Gloves: Its Cooling Effect Explained

Applying xylitol cooling fabric to gloves can make all the difference in your glove-wearing comfort.

The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to function at your optimal level. Sweaty palms with no relief in sight can be a very uncomfortable experience – having the ability to wick sweat away from your hands would be a welcomed respite while soldiering on in your endeavors. That’s why applying xylitol cooling fabric to gloves can make all the difference in your glove-wearing comfort.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that’s most commonly seen in sugarless gum products. Sharing the same level of sweetness and volume as sugar, xylitol can be used in many of the same ways – often to sweeten certain foods such as cereal, hot beverages, and baked goods. 

A naturally occurring substance, xylitol acquires its name from the word “xylose” (or “wood sugar”), as it was first made from birch trees. It can also be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, bananas, spinach, eggplants, and lettuce. Humans and animals even produce small quantities of xylitol when metabolizing glucose, with adults producing an average of 5 to 15g of xylitol per day.

Xylitol is very popular thanks to its ability to prevent tooth decay. Whereas bacteria feed on sugar, which gives it the energy to continue dismantling your teeth, xylitol does the opposite. When it’s present, bacteria simply lose the ability to survive on the surface of the tooth, which means less plaque can form. 

Xylitol - sugar substitute for diabetics. Birch sugar on white wooden background.

Benefits of Using Xylitol in Glove Materials

If it’s resistant to bacteria and tooth decay, then chances are xylitol may have the same effect on bacteria when you sweat. One of the basic chemical applications of xylitol is as an alkalizing agent. Briefly, “alkaline” refers to the pH level in the body. For instance, if something had a pH level of 1, then it would be very acidic. If the pH level were 13, it would be very alkaline. Thus, an alkalizing agent such as xylitol raises the pH level, which means acidity is low. This is bad news for bacteria because it cannot grow in these conditions –  it’s then wiped out and wicked away.

This is excellent news for glove-wearing athletes, including cyclists. When xylitol is added to their anti-perspiration arsenal, it helps to remove moisture from their hands. The benefits are:

  • Firmer, steadier grip
  • More comfort
  • Fewer blisters
  • Ability to ride longer and farther
  • Less work on the body to remove sweat
  • Less risk of injury due to an unsteady grip
  • Ability to maintain fast reaction time when braking and steering
  • Protects the bike from unwanted sweat dripping onto the gears and shifters

a long exposure photograph of a cyclist riding on pavement, wearing black, brown and neon green gear.

Introducing AX® Bolt InstaChill™

AX® Materials has added the multi-functional compound xylitol to their fiber coating technology, InstaChill™. InstaChill™ inhibits the attachment of bacteria when perspiration occurs by using xylitol to absorb the moisture and perspiration. When it’s activated, Instachill™ promptly wicks away sweat and the moisture is then converted into a cooling effect, resulting in the ultimate experience of chilling comfort. 

This technology can be combined with any AX® Bolt material. AX® Bolt incorporates knit polyester with air-mesh constructions and other performance treatments for comfort, cooling, and protection. Just wearing AX® Bolt with InstaChill™ for 2 minutes can result in a 3-degree drop in temperature. 

AX® Bolt K290 RPET + InstaChill™

As one of the key materials in our AX® Bolt line, AX® Bolt K290 RPET + InstaChill™ is a lightweight single-layer mesh created for comfort, cooling, and protection. Made from 100% recycled polyester yarns, this material is an excellent option for fourchettes, gussets, flex zones, and back-of-hand applications. 

AX® Bolt K290 RPET is one of AX® Materials’ recycled polyester materials (RPET), which is made from recycled polyester waste and post-consumer water bottles. 

  • AX® RPET materials remove an average of 12 plastic bottles from landfills per material yard and are made using water-based manufacturing that eliminates solvents from the supply chain. 
  • Water-based manufacturing enables the production of DMF-free and reduced DMF materials. This process takes away the need for using traditional solvents in manufacturing while still giving the material an authentic look and feel. 

If you’re looking to create the ultimate pair of gloves, AX® Materials has best-in-class materials to get you started. To request a free material sample, contact our team of experts today.

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